Thursday, September 28, 2006

Amazing Race: Can Horses Smell Fear?

Our show begins with the racers heading out after their pit stop at the Great Wall of China. Tyler & James—the first team in, get to leave at 9:04 pm….the last team out-- David & Mary leave at 10:29 pm. I experience brief confusion when the graphic on the tv says that Erwin & Godwin are leaving at 7:02 pm. Judy and I conclude that somebody didn’t proofread their work since everyone after them left at 10 something. The front and the back of the pack are an hour and a half apart. All teams are heading to Outer Mongolia by bus and train. They must travel 960 miles. Phew. At least for us, the trip will go quickly.

The teams race to the next clue in order to reserve spots on one of two buses. The first bus leaves at 12:00 am, while the second bus leaves at 2:00 am. The first five teams make the first bus, while the last five teams end up on the second bus. No one manages to jump the line. Considering how closely packed the middle teams are, that’s a bit of a surprise. At Erenhot, China the teams switch from bus to train. Unfortunately, the train leaves at 4:00 pm so all teams are now caught up. The advantage that the first bus teams thought that they had, evaporated quickly to their chagrin. I don’t know why they are always surprised by this telescoping of the teams, but they always are.

The teams travel by train across the Mongolian desert. Since I was unaware that there was a Mongolian desert I have learned something new. Day not wasted. They are heading to a “city” with too many vowels, Ulaanbaatar. I’d like to see that show up on Wheel of Fortune. Nothing of note happened on the buses or trains since we see virtually no footage of their travel except some exterior shots of the desert.

Once at Ulaanbaatar, teams must make their way to a Shojin Llama Temple. Dang, why can’t they put the name of that place in a graphic? I have no idea if I’ve spelled that anything close to correctly. Kellie & Jamie, Tom & Jerry, and Rob & Kimberly make it to the temple first. They must now travel to Terelj—43 miles away-- to a riverbed where they will ride horses to a meadow. Teams drive themselves in an SUV type vehicle. Teams race in and out and promptly run into major problems with directions and bad luck with vehicles. Tyler & James got a flat tire and had a broken jack so they had to call for a replacement vehicle. Kellie & James stalled out their car. David & Mary got stuck in the mud and needed a replacement vehicle. Erwin & Godwin broke down and were helped by a good Samaritan.

Arriving at the clue site--the teams experience their second Detour: Tear it Down or Fill it Up. Teams have the choice of tearing down a traditional nomadic shelter and folding it up and putting it onto a camel OR leading a cart with an ox down to the river where they fill up four milk cans and bring them back to fill up a fur covered container/barrel.

Peter & Sarah elect to tear it down. Peter is a bossy Bess. I disliked him even more this week. The guy yells at Sarah constantly and she scurries around trying to please him. The girl is all heart and little brain. They start out doing the tent—decide that’s not working out because they can’t duplicate the knots that the nomads have used and switch to Fill it Up. After failing miserably to control their ox—they go back to Tear it Down. Meanwhile, Sarah has a crying fit which sets Peter off. He tries to force her to stop crying by refusing to continue the task until she stops. ‘Cause that always works, right? Maybe he should tell her he'll "give her something to cry about" next time.

Meltdowns were kind of contagious on this episode, Kimberly also had one when Rob kept yelling at her. Oddly, I can’t remember exactly what her crime was—either she wasn’t controlling the thousand pound ox or she wasn’t keeping the milkcans upright as they drove over bumpy ground. There was quite a bit of yelling by everyone in this episode. I do know that Kimberly insisted that Rob could not talk to her that way—which was patently false since he was talking to her that way.

After completing their detour, Dustin & Kandice ran into major trouble when they lost their special nomad hat and couldn’t get back on their horses to leave for the next clue site. They looked for a while but then let their nomad guy find it. For a period of time they were just standing around waiting. Kellie & Jamie thought they might just be having a rest. Riight, because racers always rest in the middle of the thing.

Lyn & Karlyn and Kellie & Jamie are in a race for last. After struggling terribly to complete their Detours—they are both ready to leave but neither car will start. The batteries are dead and must be cranked by hand. Lyn & Karlyn aren’t strong enough to turn it and have to wait for a man to help them. Kellie & Jamie got helped first and were able to get the jump on Lyn & Karlyn. Unfortunately, Kellie & Jamie went the wrong way. They passed Lyn & Karlyn going in the opposite direction, but this did not make them sit up and notice. They were much further down the road when they finally picked up on their mistake and turned back around.

At the Road Block, which was virtually within walking distance of the Pit Stop, one team member had to shoot a flaming arrow into a target which will set off fireworks. Peter shot and made it on his second try. Peter & Sarah ended up cruising onto the mat with Phil in First Place. They won a trip to Mexico-- to the resort, Riviera Maya from Travelocity. That will be fun I guess, if they are still talking to each other after the race.

Finish order was as follows: I have noted the team member who completed the Pit Stop in bold.

1. Peter and Sarah—up from 3rd
2. Tyler and James –down from 1st
3. Duke and Lauren—down from 2nd
4. Tom and Jerry—up from 8th
5. Dustin and Kandice—down from 4th
6. Kimberly and Rob—down from 5th
7. David and Mary—up from 10th--Mary twisted her ankle on the run to the mat.
8. Erwin and Godwin—down from 7th
9. Lyn and Karlyn—stayed the same.

Kellie and Jamie gave up trying to complete the Road Block because it became too dark to shoot. They were very far behind what with going the wrong direction. Thus, they were eliminated from the race. Nothing to cheer about here, dudes. Move along, move along.

While noting who participated in the Road Block, I’ve discovered that I don’t know who is who on the teams with two people of the same sex. Who is Tom and which is Jerry? No clue…ditto for Dustin & Kandice, Erwin & Godwin, Tyler & James, and Lyn & Karlyn. It’s kind of a problem when I want to quote someone from those teams too. I know that the Cho brother with the pony-tail shot the arrow but is that Erwin or Godwin? Unless someone referred to them by name while they were shooting I was out of th eloop. Ditto with Tyler and James. Couldn't tell you which was which and I don't know which one shot the arrow.

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